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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: susie ()
Date: July 12, 2011 02:00AM

Hi Seekingsusan

You are right of course! it was Samuel Johnson- my mistake.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church, a bit of wisdom
Posted by: clare ()
Date: July 14, 2011 12:25AM

Hello everyone , i stumbled on this forum after googling Struthers so i was intrigued . I go to their site from time to time to see the New Year Word . I think it would be useful if i share my evaluation of the church but i can only give an opinion as it related to me and my personal path.
I always found the speakers very inspirational , but i always felt also that i fell short of their standards of holiness. I have learnt since that its what God requires of me that counts . Struthers is very specific and not for everybody , i think they should be more open about this and be aware that people go there sometimes for the wrong reasons , searching for their personal path and its not necessarily the Struthers way that is appropriate. It can seem the ideal way, the highest way and they present it like that but i think there is a lack of wisdom . I think its aimed at single people , it provides a noble alternative to a relationship maybe, ( check out the number of single women who minister in the church). You can leave there feeling very "down" very unworthy ,very negative and i dont think these feelings come from God, i simply think its because you shouldnt have been there its not for you. God is everywhere not just at Struthers.
I had a long time friend who was very involved with them and still is probably, the last time i heard her speak i have to admit the phrase that came to mind was that she a Struthers "clone" there was nothing wrong with what she said but it was the way it was delivered , only someone who had been to struthers would recognise it . She would say it was because she has the same annointing as they do but i dont think its that at all and i was sad to see my friend transformed into someone that made me just a little embarrassed when she spoke.
I think this church, and others like it does damage, but unknowingly .
I have been a christian since 17, i am 50 now and have come to some conclusions . God is far bigger far greater than we could ever imagine we must stop putting him in a box labelled struthers or any other movement for that matter.
I am sure of three things, I know he exists ,i know he has ultimate control , i know he cares for me on an individual level .

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: July 14, 2011 05:29PM

Hi Clare, welcome to the forum. I love the conclusions at the end of your post. I am of a similar age (let’s not go there!) and see these as the foundation of my own faith.

I guess I have travelled a bit of a journey in terms of what I think about Struthers. When I left, it still “seemed like the ideal way” to me. I felt I had failed and fallen short of the standard expected. The message from the pulpit is very much that this is the only way and it applies to everyone. That makes it very difficult to leave, or to have any sort of way forward if you do leave. Like me, many have stayed away from church for some time after leaving, as there appears to be no way to move forward.

I did eventually return to church however, and began to realise that there was a much better way forward, and that Struthers was in fact holding me back, not opening up opportunities. I guess I gradually moved to a point that, like you, I realised that Struthers was not right for everyone and that some could find other ways forward. By then, I saw the kind of wholeness and depth that could be reached by people who sought to grow and mature rather than becoming a clone by handing over the responsibility of their life to others.

I have now moved on from thinking Struthers is not for all however. I now think that Struthers is not benefiting anyone. No matter what the doctrinal basis, the argument that the end justifies the means is wrong. The whole basis of Struthers doctrine is that any pain they cause is justified because of the “greater good”. That is an argument used by tyrants throughout history, and fought against by Christ’s Church in every century. It is totally, absolutely against the teachings of Jesus.

Because of this, I am not actually convinced that those who remain do so because they have found something that benefits them (or benefits the work of God if you want to take a less ego-centric perspective). While it is probably easier for some single women to remain because of the one-to-one support some get, the fact that the leaders are female and the lack of alternative outlets for their energy, I do not think it is healthy to have a church that disengages so many. I think that most of those remaining are trapped and cannot see a way out. They are largely just existing rather than living and really have nothing to offer others except a repetition of the words from the pulpit – words they cannot really explain or justify because they do not actually relate to their own experience. Who in the whole of Struthers has actually experienced this revival they always talk about? They can tell other people that “this is the way to revival” but it is just more clone behaviour – they have not “been there and done that” – and neither have the leaders for that matter.

What a horrible imitation of the greatest news this world has ever known.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: clare ()
Date: July 14, 2011 11:14PM

Hello the "petitor" and "covlass" i have been reading your entries with much interest and recognition . I too had an experience of so called deliverence at their hands where nothing happened after a lot of speaking in tongues . I felt stupid actually, embarrassed to have divulged something very personal and then nothing happens. No-one was wise enough or had sufficient discernement to say to me, "well i'm sure there is nothing wrong dear" I felt i was being laughed at by "he who's name must not be mentioned" and i dont mean lord valdemort! Sorry, the new Harry Potter film is out isnt it!! i mean i really felt the" father of confusion " was having a right good laugh at my expence watching me tell them about sins from the past in case i had a demon etc.
I can see how lonely christians who so want to please God and find their way in life end up being easy prey .
But do they, the leaders of SMC, do it knowingly or are they themselves victims of lies , confusion and lonliness.

At one time i bought every book that came out of SMC, Hugh Blacks writings at least AND the camp tapes , i would listen and read avidly, and where do you think it got me? Thats right no where! a whole lot of what i can only call spritual masturbation, which left me just as lonely and frustrated as at the start.
My experience of God now, is that He is just not like this , we are far harder on ourselves than He is, do we really think the Lord of all the universe and beyond needs our pitifull attempts at holiness, i think what matters to Him is us wanting the truth , believing in Him and trusting Him, above all trust Him. Its not complicated really and they(SMC) make it so complicated .

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: clare ()
Date: July 14, 2011 11:19PM

Just a little footnote to my last post, the problem about religions as a whole is the people who follow them . God , Allah or which ever name you give him isnt the problem here, so we should get our eyes off people and onto Him.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: clare ()
Date: July 15, 2011 01:45AM

Struthers women in leadership would say its because there arent enough Godly men around to take the leadership roles, so its you guys fault in the first place ! but i agree entirely with your comments too.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: CovLass ()
Date: July 16, 2011 10:27PM

Hi Clare

Welcome to the forum and thanks for your comments. Its always good to have a new perspective on things. I too agree that Struthers is not for everyone. I have visited a number of churches, particularly when moving to a new area, that I would say were not for me. For example, some where a little too loud and 'shouty' in my opinion, others I found were attended largely by elderly people when I was in my twenties so I didnt feel able to fit in. Now I stress that there was nothing wrong with these churches and Im sure, had I decided to stay I wouldve been made welcome by both the minister and the congregation.

The probem I found with Struthers was it was the leadership who decided if they wanted you or not and that this decision was based on who your family were (if they were part of the church) and assumptions they made about you (which were often not true on closer inspection) If you were not wanted this was made abundantly clear to you and numerous Pharisaical restriction were placed on you and the contact you had with others within the congregation. I presume that the reason for this was the hope that you would either leave or become so downtrodden you would just turn up every week, sit at the back and give up any hope of being an active and valued member of the congregation. If you caused too much of a fuss however you could just simply be banned from attening meetings, with your friends and family 'strongly advised' to cut all contact with you.

Taking my own experience of Struthers and reading the experience of others on this forum has lead me to believe this is a far cry from a healthy church that isnt for everyone. In addition to this, they teach that those who go to other churches are 'dead' or 'cold' and would question their salvation simply because they do not attend a Struthers church.

I agree with you when you say that Struthers and churches like it cause damage to people. However I disagree that they are not aware of the damage they cause. I know that I and others have tried to express the pain and damage caused through the treatemnt received at the hands of Struthers leaders, if for no other reason that to try and make sense of it. Often the injured party receives no response at all, or they are told they are the one on the wrong, as they are entrenched in sin. This is reinforced with the belief that Struthers leaders are unable to be wrong in any spiritual matter.

Also this forum has been active for close to a year now I believe. In that time there have been two contributors who are happy at Struthers. Their response has been to question the motives, honesty and spirituality of the other forum contributors. Not once have any of the Struthers leaders written a post and tried to make amends to those who have been deeply hurt. We know that they are aware of the site as they have warned members to stay away from this forum and the latigo site in a number of Struthers meetings.

In closing I agree wholeheartedly with your footnote regarding how we should take our eyes of people and onto God. I found that since leaving Struthers I have been able to do this as Im no longer having to constantly worry about what the leaders think of me and if I am conforming to their standards. As you say, it is what God requires of us that is important.

Once again welcome to the forum. May God bless you

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: clare ()
Date: July 16, 2011 10:34PM

Being a leader of anything puts a particular responsibility on you to be open to srutiny, have maybe higher than average standards of conduct , and especially to set the example, to live , what you preach.

Being a leader of a church puts an even greater responsibility seeing as they are dealing with peoples souls.

We put a lot of pressure on our countries leaders to be squeeky clean and oh how we love to drag them down when they make a mistake or some skeleton pops out of their cupboard.

This is human nature in action. However, Covlasses mention of the gifts of the spirit , (and you are so right it is this that is important as the gifts will fade away), reminded me of something that had often irked me about the leaders at struthers .
We would agree i think that if the body is the temple of the holy spirit and God rather hopes we will look after the temple to the best of our ability ie dont smoke or drink too much alcohol etc just to give two examples, dont drive recklessly would be another ...... well dont over -eat would be another and i notice a high percentage of overweightness in the pulpit.... Mr Black and Mary were both over-weight if i remember. I'm sorry if you think this is "picky" but for me its a clear example of preaching self-control but not doing it themselves.
Its a visual example of dont preach it if you dont live it yourself, or at least admit to a weakness yourself.
What better example is there of a lack of self control .

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: clare ()
Date: July 17, 2011 02:14AM

Well i read loads of everyones posts,I find all this seriously disturbing when i think back to how much i revered the leaders at struthers and admired them as Godly people.
I went to a house group lead by a woman who was part of struthers although this group was in the midlands, england and in no way a branch of the church. I admired her too but was always feeling confused and often hurt . But like so many of you i assumed it was my fault for not being Godly enough !! Am i totally nieve i dont understand how what i thought were deeply annointed people can seemingly be responsible for so much damage? How is it possible to stand infront of people in Gods name and get things so wrong!! surely they must be genuine mistakes or they are in very grave danger if they have knowingly done damage to some of His children. Arent there scriptures warning against this very behaviour. I keep thinking it must be us who are mistaken , misguided or too sinful to stand the annointing . I am flabergasted i keep having to repost what i am thinking because i am not sure if its me that is in the wrong here? Comments please on here or private are welcome. Clare

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: seekingsusan ()
Date: July 17, 2011 09:35PM

Hi Clare,

SMC are like the Catholic church:- the "supreme leaders” hear from god directly and infallibly. They exercise a thinly veiled form of popery wrapped in pentecostal clothing, using wesleyan holiness as a vile justification for exercising unchallenged power over their docile and at times clearly fearful flock.
However in the Catholic church one sees divergent views in its clergy - something to be expected in a healthy church full of fallible humans, - one finds none of this in the Struthers movement.

Instead every leader marches in lock-step, a kind of "Stepford Wives meets Pope Ratzinger".

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